Sun, 14 Jan 2001

New interior designs create different ambience in your home

Text by Rita A. Widiadana

JAKARTA (JP): Entering the year 2001, a lot of people may need more energy and fresh ideas to face this challenging year. Yet, only a few of them realize that their home and working environment could become their major sources of inspiration, said a noted interior designer.

PAI's architect and interior designer Thomas Elliot suggested that people reconsider changing or modifying their home and office interior to create a favorable atmosphere suitable to their needs and personalities.

"By changing color schemes, re-arranging furniture and adding some attractive decorations and accessories in each of the rooms, you can create a totally different environment that could probably stimulate your body and mind," said Elliot.

Showing his creations, displayed recently at Elite Grahacipta in Kebayoran Baru area, South Jakarta, Elliot said he was inspired by a black wooden cupboard, which he used as a central point.

"I created a bedroom dominated by the colors black and white and a sitting room with a co-ordinated theme and color scheme," he said.

In the bedroom, Elliot started with a cozy four-poster bed canopied with black and white striped fabric. The ceiling of the room is quite high to balance out the big and tough bed. A wooden chest of drawers is used to store personal things as well as other significantly decorative items.

"Bedrooms are the most personal room in a house. So, it will be better for you to put your individual style in the bedroom," he suggested.

Busy designs, where there is a lot of fussy and frilly furniture and accessories could be unnecessarily distracting, he said.

For the living room, the black cupboard is the starting point teamed with a beige sofa piled up with several cushions.

The living room often has to be the most versatile room in the home, acting as an environment for a number of different uses. It is usually a multi-purpose room which can be designed, furnished and decorated in a variety of different ways according to your requirements and lifestyles. Furniture storage, lighting and decorative materials will have to be carefully selected to suit the room's purpose and function, as well as helping to set a style.

"These are all my tastes in style. When I work for a client, I won't let my ideas, my ego appear in those creations," Elliot said.

An interior designer should not seek to impress their peers. Rather they should concentrate on doing a thorough job for the client.

"We (interior designers) should let our clients express their ideas so that later we can materialize them on our designs. If the client is satisfied with it, then the design is a success," he said.

Sammy Hendramianto, an interior designer from Grahacipta Hadiprana, explained there is a tendency among people to avoid professional help when designing the interior of their residence.

"I admit the profession of an interior designer is not yet popular. Actually, we can help people attain their dream houses by providing necessary advice," he said.

To create a comfortable house, people could browse local and foreign interior magazines, books and exhibitions. "They can pick up ideas from those sources, which one is suitable for their needs," Sammy said. It is unfortunate that there are only a few good interior exhibitions held in Indonesia which could display models for the average-income person, he said.

Elliot added people also like to follow the most recent trends in interior design as created by magazines.

"Actually, there is no specific trend in home interior design. People often follow what the magazines say," he said.

Yet, there are a number of styles or looks according to certain architectural periods such as the Classical style, Gothic style, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, Modern styles to Contemporary and High Tech.

"When I first came to Indonesia nine years ago, many clients asked me to create classic designs in their home exteriors and interiors," Elliot said. Such design reflects the grandeur and the elegance of the past. Classic things are often associated with opulence, intellectuality and higher societal status.

"But, over the years plainer treatments have come to be adopted for interiors so that they are simpler and more rational in style," he claimed.

The reasons have often been as much economic as aesthetic; pressures on building space and limited budgets continue as the ongoing crisis is not yet fully over.